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Nov. 18th, 2013 @ 09:57 pm Finished series: Uchouten Kazoku
Current Mood: impressedimpressed
We've finished watching Uchouten Kazoku. My first episode review is here.

The series is about a family of Tanuki in Kyoto. Being tanuki, they shapeshift into humans and blend in with the locals -- mostly to simply play around. The family consists of mother and four sons -- their father ended up in the end-of-year stew of the Friday Fellows, a weekly meeting of seven humans who use the names of the seven lucky gods as their nicknames. The family even knows one of the members: Benten, a human woman who was taught by an old tengu, just like the sons of the tanuki family. She is vastly more powerful than the tanuki, so everyone makes sure to stay out of her way.
All except for the third son of the family, who has re-defined his mission in life to "leading an interesting life". And his life sure does get more and more interesting as the series progresses!

There are a lot of separate plot-threads at the beginning: their father's death, the Friday Fellows, the tengu master and the rivalry with another tanuki family. At first, these things seem separate, but they get all tied together in a really spectacular finale. The last two episodes had us staring in disbelief at the screen, thinking: "Surely they wouldn't...?" and then they did! It reminded me of Baccano!, which also had a masterful way to tie all the plot threads together in an action-packed finale.

What also struck me was the detail put into the scenery. If you've been to Kyoto, there are plenty of sights to recognise. The backgrounds are all crafted with a lot of attention to detail -- even the places where only one scene takes place. Not only the temples and shrines, but also a normal back street... It all really captures the atmosphere of the city.

We've really enjoyed this series. It's funny and interesting, is set in a city we know and love, looks gorgeous and has one of the tightest plotting we've seen in a long time. I recommend it highly, and give it a 9.
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azumanga